The way of Windows Azure , ep2 Cloud Storage

Where Can I Store my stuff ??

this is one of the basic questions that we need to ask ourselves when using any new platform , and of course Windows Azure is no difference , Where can i store my  stuff ?
Windows Azure Provides you with 4 Storage Options :
  1. Blobs : Unstructured data storage
  2. Tables: Semi-structured or tabular data storage
  3. Queues: First In First Out Data Structure
  4. Drives: Durable NTFS volumes that Windows Azure applications can use.

Azure Platform Storage Options


Windows Azure Storage Concepts


Windows Azure Blobs

They can be used to store Unstructured data , and you have the ability to Scale massively, You have At least 3 instances of your data , 5 in optimal situation , Blobs can  be used as CDN (content delivery networks) , and can be mapped using a custom domain.
Blobs can be Seperated by Containers , that act like Folders to organize your Blobs.

Tools for connecting to Azure storage:

Azure Storage Explorer

Windows Azure Drive (Xdrive).

It is a Virtual NTFS volume that can be mounted, it has .vhd format, You can easily use Use existing NTFS API’s for managing it , and it allows for Easier migration, It is Stored on blob storage provides quick mount/unmount in other VM.

Windows Azure Queues.

Queues are used for reliable, persistent messaging between applications. You can use Queues to transfer messages between applications or services in Windows Azure.
Messages are stored for processing ,a typical usage scenario is when Worker Dequeues Message and mark it as Invisible then Worker Deletes Message when finished processing it.If Worker role crashes, message becomes visible for another Worker to process.
Note : Windows azure queues Doesn’t guarantee ordering.

Windows Azure Tables

Table Storage is used by applications requiring storing large amounts of data storage that need additional structure. While a table stores structured data, it does not provide any way to represent relationships between the data, sometimes called a NoSQL database.

Table terms:

•Table : Contains a set of entities.
•Entity (Row) :Basic data items stored in a table.
•Property (Column) :Single value in an entity.
•RowKey :Unique ID of the entity within a partition
•Timestamp :Time it was created
•Partition : Entities in a table with the same partition key
•PartitionKey :Segments entities in to partitions to automatically distribute the table’s entities over many storage nodes.
•Sort Order :There is a single index provided, where all entities in a table are sorted by PartitionKey and then RowKey

Windows Azure Table

Capabilities and Benefits of Storage

Windows Azure Blobs, Tables and Queues stored on Windows Azure are replicated three times in the same data center for resiliency against hardware failure. No matter which storage service you use, your data will be replicated across different fault domains to increase availability.
Geo replication
Windows Azure Blobs and Tables are also geo-replicated between two data centers 100s of miles apart from each other on the same continent, to provide additional data durability in the case of a major disaster, at no additional cost.
REST and managed API’s for Storage
In addition to using Storage services for your applications running on Windows Azure, your data is accessible from virtually anywhere.
Integration with Windows Azure CDN
With one-click, the Windows Azure CDN (Content Delivery Network) dramatically boosts performance by automatically caching content near your customers or users.
Thank you for reading , waiting for feedback and wait for next Episode Soon ISA

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